Tag Archives: Mining

McNab Beach - just below a proposed gravel mine in Howe Sound

Gravel Mining Project Threatens Ecological, Recreational Treasure in Howe Sound


“Anywhere else in the world, Howe Sound would be a great National Park”
  Dr. Murray Newman, Former Executive Director – Vancouver Aquarium

A large part of the beauty and international appeal of British Columbia’s West Coast can be found in the natural environment of Howe Sound.  Over the past 20 years, Howe Sound has been the subject of millions of dollars in reclamation projects to restore its health, paid for by industry and you the taxpayer.  Regrettably an Alberta based company has proposed a large scale gravel mining and crushing facility at McNab creek that will set back these rehabilitation efforts, especially for local salmon populations.  This proposal comes at a time when the recovering health of the Sound has led to sightings of Pacific white-sided dolphins and grey and killer whales for the first time in decades. We should not allow this progress to be placed at risk.

The massive project as filed by Burnco Rock Products Ltd, envisions at least 1 million tonnes of gravel extracted per year from the creekbed area with spikes up to 4 million tonnes. During the project’s first phase, a 77 hectare industrial pit would be dug out of the McNab Creek estuary to depths of 55 metres below surface grade and more than 15 metres below the water table.

According to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), the proposed project is likely to result in the destruction of fish habitat which cannot be compensated elsewhere in the Sound.  In its comment on the project, the DFO stated that they “continue to have serious concerns about the extent of the impacts to fish and fish habitat that may result from this project” and concluded that “The project presents a high risk to Salmon and Salmon habitat.”

In addition to the risks to fish habitat, the project description indicates the site could be home to up to 20 species at risk, including a population of Roosevelt Elk that were transplanted to McNab Creek by the BC Ministry of Environment in 2001 in an effort to re-introduce the species to the area.  The McNab Creek estuary and surrounding waters are extensively used for recreational and commercial fishers, tourism operators, boaters, recreational property owners, numerous children’s camps and other compatible users – all placed in profound jeopardy by the Burnco proposal. 

Despite concerns voiced by DFO, local governments and local community groups, the Burnco project has recently begun a review by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

This unfortunate situation clearly illustrates the absence of a long term planning strategy for Howe Sound.  The need for a specific Howe Sound plan has been formally recognized by twelve local governments and First Nations representing the communities in the Sea to Sky corridor.   In September 2002, they signed a “Principles of Co-operation” Agreement which identified the importance of community involvement in the consideration of issues affecting Howe Sound and the need to “work together for the greater good because territorial lines on a map mean nothing in terms of sustainability”.  Notwithstanding the wishes of local governments and First Nations, the review of the Burnco project is proceeding without any long term planning process involving those interested parties.

If approved, the Burnco Mine proposal will cause permanent, irreversible damage to a unique natural estuary that is home to at risk species and will also endanger ongoing efforts to sustain marine biodiversity in Howe Sound. In addition, important jobs and significant economic activity and opportunity in recreational tourism and commercial fishery will be put at risk.

Currently, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) review of the project is underway and the initial public comment period on the proposed project closed on February 3, 2012.  CEAA is reviewing the project description and is expected to issue the draft Environmental Impact Study guidelines shortly.  The draft guidelines will be subject to public comment and there is expected to be further opportunity for public participation at other stages in the review.  A companion review will also be conducted at the Provincial level and the BC Environmental Assessment Office is expected to initiate the process by the issuance of the draft Application Information Requirements (AIR) later this spring.  There will be public comment solicited on the AIR.  There is expected to be further opportunities for public participation during the Provincial review process although no timeline for public participation has been published at this time.

It is critical that members of the public and community groups make their voices heard during both the Federal and Provincial review processes.  Information on the Federal CEAA review can be obtained at www.ceaa.gc.ca and on the BC EAO review at www.eao.gov.bc.ca

Further developments regarding the next steps in this review process and details of how to make your views known will be posted at futureofhowesound.org.  To be kept informed of the status of the review process, join our mailing list for ongoing updates.

Les Morton is a representative of the Future of Howe Sound Society.

BCIT Rivers Institue Chair Emeritus Mark Angelo

Prominent BCIT Conservationists Team Up to Save “Heart of the Fraser”


World Rivers Day founder and Chair Emeritus of BCIT’s Rivers Institute Mark Angelo and prominent fish biologist and BCIT professor Dr. Marvin Rosenau have launched a dynamic new initiative to conserve the enormous ecological values of a critical stretch of the Fraser River just East of Vancouver. Known as the Gravel Reach or, “Heart of the Fraser” for its prime spawning habitat – home to dozens of species of salmon, trout, sturgeon and other lesser known but ecologically significant fish – the region between Mission and Hope is threatened by a laundry list of industrial impacts. That’s why these two conservationists, along with their students and the support of a number of other environmental organizations have developed an innovative new program to help protect it.

Watch this short video on the launch of the program:

The “Shared Vision” document for the program – whose sponsors also include the Nature Trust of BC, the Pacific Fisheries Resource Conservation Council, and the North Growth Foundation – describes the nature of the threat to this critical ecosystem and what is required to protect it:

Political, corporate, and public efforts must be coordinated and applied in order to counter the rapid disappearance of one of the most diverse and valuable aquatic and lowland ecosystems in British Columbia. Our goal is to identify, conserve, protect and restore key portions of the Gravel Reach in order to sustain and secure the biological and ecological integrity of the area…The lower Fraser River riparian lowlands continue to rapidly disappear due to continued encroachment through land development, agriculture, and industrial activities that include extensive resource extraction (i.e., logging and mining).

See videos below on gravel mining in this stretch of the Fraser River – including a talk by Dr. Marvin Rosenau.

This important stretch of habitat, which “functions in a biologically rich and diverse manner because of the extensive lateral and vertical inundation of islands, gravel bars, and the riparian/terrestrial ecosystems over the period of the hydrological year,” is home to an unmatched collection of fish and wildlife values. A list of these values contained in the program’s “Shared Vision” document gives one a sense of just what’s at stake here:

“These attributes include:

  • the largest-single spawning run of salmon in British Columbia, and perhaps North America (these are pink salmon which reproduce in the main channel of the Gravel Reach and may well exceed 10 million fish on the spawning grounds in some years);
  • the largest population of white sturgeon in North America not influenced by dams or aquaculture (white sturgeon are the largest and longest-living freshwater fish in North America — they can attain lengths in excess of 6 meters, weights of over 600 kilograms, and they can live for over 150 years);
  • a spawning stock of Pacific eulachon, which up until only a few decades ago was one of the largest runs of eulachon in British Columbia; this small, anadromous smelt leaves the marine environment to spawn in the lower Fraser River in April and May and all individuals die after spawning; the oil- and protein-rich carcasses provide a significant source of food and nutrients for the aquatic, avian, and terrestrial ecosystems of the Gravel Reach, and are an important, traditional food of Fraser River First Nations communities;
  • a migration corridor for some of the largest spawning runs of sockeye salmon in North America (most of these originate from upstream populations);
  • juvenile-feeding habitat for local-chum and migratory-chinook salmon stocks that rear along gravel bars and within side channels;
  • spawning habitat for local chum salmon stocks in the large side channels, which in some years may exceed 1 million returning adult fish;
  • habitat that supports approximately 30 different species of fish, including at least eight fishes that are considered to be at-risk: cutthroat trout, bull char (both resident and anadromous), Dolly Varden char, eulachon, white sturgeon, green sturgeon, mountain sucker, and brassy minnow.

There are also many other non-fish species of animals living in the Fraser River Gravel Reach that are found in complex combinations occurring nowhere else in Canada, including:

  • aquatic mammals (seals, sea-lions, river beaver, martin);
  • large terrestrial/aquatic omnivores including black (and the occasional grizzly) bear;
  • other large vertebrates include blacktail and whitetail deer, cougar, coyote;
  • extensive populations of various species of rarer birds including red-tail hawk, green and great blue heron, bald eagle, assorted dabbling ducks, wood duck, purple martin, sandhill crane, turkey vultures;
  • the Pacific water shrew (a species at risk);
  • amphibians such as the Oregon spotted frog, western red-backed salamander, and the Pacific giant salamander.”

Besides the work of BCIT students continuing to research and map the fish and habitat values of the Gravel Reach, the program is seeking to develop a “Lower Fraser River Ecosystem” working group, comprised of program participants, First Nations, representatives of all levels of government, NGOs and other key stakeholders. The goal of this team would be to advance these conservation objectives through the following tools:

  • outright purchase of private properties – Nature Trust or other such entity to manage in perpetuity;
  • donations of private land into a protected area envelope;
  • evaluation of existing Crown forests within this area to ascertain if a more advantageous land allocation arrangement might be offered to forest companies which would allow the reversion of some sensitive habitats into non-harvestable lands, and subsequent protection;
  • conversion of existing, non-used Crown lands into Section 108 reserves, protected areas, and/or Wildlife Management Areas (WMA’s);
  • restrictive-covenant agreements on non-purchasable lands; and
  • alternative options for protecting First Nation lands need to be explored such as the purchasing of outside-of-dike properties, to be added to existing titles, in exchange for not undertaking development on the lowland riparian lands, or the restoration of currently impacted FN properties.

It’s an ambitious program – but given what’s at stake in this rich ecosystem, what it represents to the people of British Columbia, and the dire challenges it faces for survival, it would also appear a necessary one.

The Common Sense Canadian will endeavour to keep its readers updated as to the progress of the “Heart of the Fraser Initiative” as it evolves.

Videos on Gravel Mining the Heart of the Fraser:



The Tyee on Turning Healthy, Fish-bearing Lakes into Mining Tailings Ponds


Read this story from TheTyee.ca on the use of a loophole int he Fisheries Act, called Schedule 2, that enables mining companies to turn healthy lakes into “tailing impoundment areas” for waste rock and tailings – saving them millions of dollars int he process.(March 23, 2012)

Under the little-known Schedule 2 of The Metal Mining Effluent Regulations, healthy wild lakes are being reclassified as “tailings impoundment areas.” The effluent regulations were created to protect Canadian waters, not destroy them. When the Liberal government revised the regulations in 2002, Schedule 2 was a last-minute grandfather clause to legitimize five already-polluted lakes.


Since 2006, the Harper government has used Schedule 2 to sanction the destruction of no less than eight healthy, wild lakes or water bodies, and grandfathered another six already-polluted ones. Mining companies stand to gain enormous cost savings via Schedule 2 “exceptions.” No need to build expensive tailings containments from scratch if the government will let you just dump your industrial waste in a nearby lake and be done with it.


Bizarrely, the mining industry would have Canadians believe that purposely destroying pure Canadian lakes is somehow environmentally responsible. Natural lakes make “safer” containments, they argue, than any structure they could build. This cynical doublespeak merely clouds the ugly truth — that Schedule 2 is a quick and dirty means to profit.

Read story: http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2012/03/23/Lake-Killing/


Taseko Mines Suing Wilderness Committee for Defamation Over Fish Lake


Read this story from the Canadian Press on Taseko Mines’ decision to sue the Wilderness Committee and one of its campaigners for defamation regarding the environmental organization’s criticisms of the company’s proposed mine west of Williams Lake. (March 1, 2012)

VANCOUVER – The company behind a controversial mining proposal in British Columbia has filed a lawsuit against one of its critics, alleging an environmental group has made inaccurate and defamatory comments that threaten to mislead the public.

Taseko Mines Ltd. (TSX:TKO.TONews) filed a notice of claim in B.C. Supreme Court on Thursday targeting the Western Canada Wilderness Committee and one of its employees over statements the environmental group has made about the company’s New Prosperity gold and copper project.

The project has faced fierce opposition from environmentalists and local First Nations communities and was rejected by a federal government environmental review in 2010…

…”Taseko welcomes a full, thorough and open process to evaluate the merits of the New Prosperity project,” Russell Hallbauer, CEO of Taseko, said in a news release issued Thursday.

“We cannot, however, stand idly by when certain parties such as the Western Canada Wilderness Committee mislead the public.”

Joe Foy, national campaign director for the Western Canada Wilderness Committee, dismissed the legal action as a “slap lawsuit” designed to silence criticism.

Foy said his group plans to defend itself against the lawsuit, and he suggested the company’s notice of claim doesn’t accurately reflect what’s currently on the Wilderness Committee’s website.

Foy noted the Wilderness Committee made changes in recent weeks after complaints from the company. For example, the web page quoted in the notice of claim no longer refers to Fish Lake as a “tailings pond.”

“We called Taseko mines and told them we did not think anything we said was actionable, that we were willing to look at the thing that we had up on our website and make some changes, which we did,” Foy said in an interview.

“We feel we behaved reasonable in this, but we do not agree that we’re guilty of libel so we’ll defend ourselves in court.”

Read full article: http://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/b-c-mining-company-sues-024146812.html


Taseko Mines Ready to Begin Work on Prosperity Mine


Read this story from the Winnipeg Free Press on Taseko Mines’ plans to begin work on its proposed Prosperity Mine in Tsilhqot’in First Nations territory west of Williams Lake, as an injunction prohibiting work has been lifted. (March 6, 2012)

VANCOUVER – Taseko Mines Ltd. (TSX:TKO) says it will begin exploration work at the New Prosperity site in B.C.’s central interior after a court overturned an injunction brought by the Tsilhqot’in First Nation.

Taseko said Tuesday that the injunction, granted in December, was vacated by court order.

The mining company said it plans to begin preliminary work on Tuesday to obtain information it needs in advance of a federal environmental assessment.

The company has 12 months to complete the necessary work at the site needed for a second federal government environmental process, but has said the band refused to allow workers on the land.

The First Nation wanted the court to keep the mining firm out of its territory, preventing it from doing any work until the B.C. Appeal Court rules on the band’s case involving aboriginal title in certain claim areas.

Tsilhqot’in Chief Marilyn Baptiste has said the B.C. government simply rubber stamped Taseko’s permits and licences for the mine, without consulting with them as required.

The mine has a controversial history. The proposal for the $1.1-billion mine was approved by the B.C. government, but was rejected in a federal government environmental review in 2010.

Read more: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/business/taseko-to-begin-work-at-new-prosperity-after-injunction-overturned-140558643.html


BC’s Coal Exports Undermine Climate Action Goals


Read this story from the Vancouver Sun on the mounting criticism from climate scientists of BC’s growing coal exports and their contribution to carbon emissions. (Feb. 20, 2012)

VANCOUVER — Coal is fast gaining notoriety as the dirtiest fossil fuel and a growing source of global greenhouse gas emissions, all of which is staining the B.C. government’s green climate-action initiatives.

“It’s a curious inconsistency of the old economy and the new economy at the same time,” said Dan Kammen, a professor of energy at the University of California in Berkeley.

In an interview Monday, he said B.C. must take into account not just carbon emissions within the province, but the full emissions resulting from its coal exports.

“On one hand B.C. is an impressive innovator …” said Kammen, who recently served as chief technical specialist for renewable energy and energy efficiency at the World Bank.

B.C.’s climate-action initiatives include provincial greenhouse gas targets, low-carbon energy projects, the Carbon Tax Act and the Pacific Carbon Trust.

“Like the U.S. and Australia, B.C. also exports coal and that has to go on the books somewhere,” Kammen continued. “That accounting is going to be controversial. No one wants to put pressure on a revenue-producing and job-producing [export] industry.

“But it’s exactly the sort of thing we have to sort out as we figure how to institute a lower-carbon economy going forward.”


Federal Hearings Into Revised Prosperity Mine Poroposal Begin


Read this story from CTV.ca on a new round of federal environmental hearings into the proposed Prosperity Mine at Fish Lake. (Jan. 29, 2012)

With all eyes on hearings for the controversial Northern Gateway pipeline that would link Alberta’s oil sands to tankers on the B.C. coast, a federal environmental review of another contentious B.C. project is quietly getting underway.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency has released guidelines and terms of reference that will form the framework for an environmental review of Taseko Mines Ltd.’s (TSX:TKO) proposed Prosperity gold and copper mine in the B.C. Interior.

The agency is seeking comments on the documents until Feb. 22.

But the approach of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government toward the federal hearings on the Northern Gateway doesn’t give First Nations opponents much faith in the environmental review of the mine.

“We feel the writing’s on the wall,” Chief Joe Alphonse, leader of the Tsilqhot’in National Government, said in an interview.

“Mr. Harper is making statements around the Enbridge project that anyone opposing the project is an enemy of Canada. That’s the same situation.”

Read more: http://www.ctvbc.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20120129/bc_prosperity_mine_project_120128/20120129/?hub=BritishColumbiaHome

Would you put a gravel mine here? McNab Creek in west Howe Sound, north of Vancouver

Local Governments, Citizens Want More Scrutiny of Proposed Howe Sound Gravel Mine


Regional politicians in jurisdictions along Howe Sound are calling for a bigger role in the review of a major proposed gravel mine at McNab Creek. Several Sunshine Coast regional directors and councilors have recently stepped forward with concerns about the lack of local government involvement in the project’s environmental review – currently being carried out under the federal Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

Burnco Rock Products, Ltd. of Calgary wants to build a 77 hectare, 55 metre deep gravel and sand pit in acknowledge fish and wildlife habitat. The company estimates it can extract 1 – 1.6 million tonnes of gravel per year for 20-30 years from the property, rising to as much as 4 million tonnes in some years. The size and potential environmental impact of the proposal have local politicians and citizens raising red flags. A local citizens’ group, The Future of Howe Sound Society, is also concerned the project has slid under the radar thus far and is urging the public to comment on the proposal by the end of the week, when the first public comment phase closes.

Directors of the Sunshine Coast Regional District expressed surprise at a January 19 meeting that the public comment period for the project was already underway. “We’ve got a huge thing going on, and we find out about it in the newspaper, when we have already registered quite a strong degree of concern,” West Howe Sound director Lee Turnbull told the meeting, according to the Coast Reporter. “The extent of this — this is going to be bigger than Sechelt. I’m not kidding. This is bigger than the [Lehigh] construction aggregate and it’s going to be running out of Howe Sound.”

The Future of Howe Sound Society has been warning the public about the project since last year. In November they issued a media release calling for more public involvement in the federal government’s process:

Howe Sound is only now recovering from the environmental damage and pollution caused by past mining and other industrial activities. Dolphins and whales are returning to Howe Sound for the first time in a generation and fish numbers are increasing. To now allow new industrial projects without a comprehensive land use plan would be short sighted and tragic.

Public participation is necessary to ensure that any review conducted through the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency goes beyond that and examines the overall impact on marine life, residents and users of Howe Sound.

The project was first proposed by Burnco in 2009 but faced a series of setbacks when the Department of Fisheries and Oceans sent it back to the drawing board with some key unanswered questions. The company says it’s addressed DFO’s concerns about potential impact on nearby fish habitat – which supports coho, chum, Chinook, pink and steelhead salmon and resident and sea-run cutthroat trout – but not everyone is convinced.

Councilor Dan Bouman told the Gibsons council meeting on January 17, “I’ve been aware of this project for about three years. I’m wondering: [DFO] is the key agency that has statutory authority to grant or not grant authority to do habitat damage. They’re saying it’s too much. Why are we going into environmental assessment?”

A report submitted on behalf of the company to the federal review process acknowledges a number of important wildlife values as well – listing 24 different blue and red listed species that may occur in the area of the proposed project. The report suggests about half of these species likely don’t use the specific area of the proposed pit, but acknowledges potential impacts to others:

[Species at Risk] confirmed to occur in the Property include coastal tailed frog (in Harlequin Creek), herons (forage in the spawning channel and McNab Creek mainstem), and barn swallow (nests in abandoned buildings). Other SAR that could potentially occur on the Property include red-legged frog, northern goshawk, band-tailed pigeon, coastal western screech-owl, sooty grouse, olive-sided flycatcher, and pine grosbeak.

The Future of Howe Sound Society is also concerned about the massive mine’s potential impacts on the broader region of the Sound – including whales and dolphins and other community values register its concerns about the project this week, saying on its website, “The aim of the Society is to protect the future of Howe Sound through the development of a comprehensive and holistic land and water use plan,” which the region currently lacks.

The group is urging citizens from the region and beyond to weigh in on the public comment process this week, saying, “If you do not make your views known, please understand this project and it’s predictable destruction in the Sound will take place unchallenged just at a time when the dolphins and whales have returned to the Sound.”



Rafe Reflects on Common Sense Canadian – And Why 2012 is Make-or-Break Year for BC


It’s customary at this time of the year too look back, comment, and look to the New Year. Why should The Common Sense Canadian (CSC) be any different?
We’ve been going for about a year and a half so my comments may take us a little earlier than last January but let me start by saying that both Damien Gillis and I are pretty proud of our progress.
Neither of us believes in some commonwealth of environmental people and groups. That’s not practical as we all have issues we feel more strongly about than others. We do, however, like to feel that we can bring a vehicle into being that helps all environmentalists and groups find a place to air their feelings. As one would expect, the particular passions of Damien and me will stand out in the work we do but we also support many other groups. Because of the history we bring to the CSC, we tend to look most in four areas, in no particular order: fish farms, private power, pipelines and oil tankers – the latter two being bound together but still two separate issues; but you can’t have one without the other.
What we’ve seen happen in the past year or so is a sense of all environmentalists feeling part of the same general battle – and battle it is.
Let me expand on that last thought a bit. All of us, whether trying to save forests, or a river, or a coastline or whatever are met with the cry “aren’t they in favour of anything?” If they’re not hugging trees they’re against jobs for the young and prosperity for communities. These and similar questions have been raised since the first day someone declared that there were other issues than just monetary ones. To show you how ridiculous this gets, supporters of the proposed “Prosperity” Mine allege that this mine will give employment to 71,000 people! Why not 710,000 if you’re going to be ridiculous?
What we try to do is challenge people to make a value judgment on what is done and place the environmental issues securely on the table. The main reason we do that is that damage to the environment is permanent while the economics diminish as time goes by, leaving only the scars.
Let’s look at a so-called “run-of-river” project. We’re told that these are necessary to create jobs yet when the deed is done there are only a bare handful of caretakers left behind while the river, and the ecology that depend upon it, are permanently and seriously impaired.
Now we are democrats. If the public, fully informed, wish to create permanent environmental damage, that is their right. What happens, however, is that the public, if they are informed at all, only see the glitzy ads by the company and the smooth assurances of the politicians.
Public hearings are, frankly, bullshit. The decision has been made and, like a trial in the old Soviet Union, a “show” trial must take place.
Let me give you a recent example: when President Obama refused to authorize the Keystone XL project which would take “gunk” from the Tar Sands to  Texas, Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty instantly responded and said that we would have to put the proposed Enbridge pipeline from the Tar Sands to Kitimat, BC, on “the front burner”! Before the National Energy Board hearings even get off the ground the Finance Minister is assuming the result! Yet, he’s right to do so because the “fix” is well and truly in.
This takes me to the meat of the matter for, in the past couple of years there has been an astonishing cooperation of environmental organizations to fight these things together.
I’ve been all around the province making speeches and often the stage has been shared with COPE union spokespersons, the Wilderness Committee, Alexandra Morton and her Raincoast Research Society, the redoubtable Donna Passmore and her work on highways and farmland issues, CoalWatch Comox Valley regarding the proposed Raven coal mine, citizen groups fighting local issues like overhead transmission lines and numerous grassroots organizations in the Kootenays in Northern BC, on the Sunshine Coast – and the list goes on.
Of enormous consequence has been the work all the different environmental groups have done with First Nations on the issues I have mentioned. One of the most touching moments in my Roast of November 24 last were the speeches given by Grand Chief Stewart Philip, Chief Bob Chamberlin and Chief Marilyn Baptiste; and I tell you truly that I wept when they spoke and sang and considered how far down the road to true understanding of their concerns I had come – something, I might add, Chief Philip commented upon with a twinkle in his eye to match my tears.
Let me pause here to note that I have left out many people and organizations that have every right to stand out in front as those I have mentioned and I deeply hope that I haven’t offended any of them.
Let me speak out clearly on political matters. The Campbell/Clark government are enemies of the public at large. The destruction they have caused, and which will happen because of their policies, beggars description. Not unnaturally, the NDP have been the beneficiaries, often accidentally, from this public disgust with the government. I can tell you that at my “Roast” were people I knew from my old Socred days – people who a year ago would have preferred to be found in a house of ill repute than be seen with the CSC helping us in our fundraiser.
I must say this: the NDP gets no easy ride from us. It’s simple to jump on a bandwagon but we demand commitments from them – not airy, fairy crap that passes for commitment in political jargon.
I’m going to end now with this look ahead. 2012 will be the year that decides where we go in BC.
Will we have more rivers destroyed for private profit? Will we see our province, my homeland and yours, turned over to the 100% certain destruction by pipelines? And to the 100% certainty of catastrophic oil spills on our coast and in Burrard Inlet? Will we continue to allow fish farmers to annihilate our sacred Pacific Salmon? Will we watch idly as Fish Lake is destroyed to set the precedent of more of the same?
Will we do nothing as we lose more and more farmland? Will money promised and jobs pledged suck the wind out of our ability to see what’s really happening to us, our children, our grandchildren and for some of us great-grandchildren?
That is the advantage, you see, of old age – right before your eyes are the people we hold BC in trust for. The wisdom of the ages, in the soul of our First Nations, is the wisdom we must listen to and apply if we want to save our province from those who would convert it into cash for private use, leaving us with nothing but the scars to remind us what damned fools we’ve been.
The Common Sense Canadian will be in this fight in 2012 and in the years to come and, along with those we march alongside, do not intend to lose the battles nor the war.